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Anne Hallett (Besse)

Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Yarmouth, Barnstable , Massachusetts
Death: April 6, 1694 (60-68)
Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Anthony Besse and Jane Barlow
Wife of Andrew "Gentleman" Hallett, of Yarmouth
Mother of Mehitable Dexter
Sister of Dorcas Presbury; Nehemiah Besse; Mary Allen; Elizabeth Bodfish; Rebecca Hunter and 2 others
Half sister of Dorcas Presbury; Nathan Barlow; John Barlow; Samuel Barlow and Aaron Barlow

Managed by: Private User
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About Anne Hallett

Until 1950 it was generally believed Andrew Hallett (“Jr.”) had only one wife, Anne Bessee, daughter of Anthony Bessee and his wife, Jane.  However, Florence E. Barclay showed that Anne was still unmarried as of 4 Mar 1661/62, when she testified in a court proceeding.  Anne was probably the mother of Andrew’s youngest child, Mehitabel, born about 1663.  All of Andrew‘s other children were by an earlier and unidentified first wife, whom he presumably married about 1642.


She married Andrew Hallett in 1645 in Barnstable, Massachusetts.. She was the daughter of Anthony Besse of either Lynn or Sandwich. She was only fourteen years old when they married, but she was said to be a strong healthy woman, and that she was the mother of twins before her fifteenth birthday. On the day following the birth of her children she requested her mother, who acted as nurse, to take care of the babies while she went out to seek birds eggs for them. The grandmother at that time could not have been over thirty, for she had children of her own fifteen years younger than her grandchild Abigail, and if Ruhama was one of the twins, not far from twenty.

They lived in Sandwich until July 28, 1640, when he sold his farm to Daniel Wing and Andrew moved to Yarmouth, where he lived until his death in 1684. Following in the Hallett tradition which had been established by his father, Andrew II eventually became the largest land holder in Yarmouth, owning about three hundred acres of the best lands and meadows in the town. He owned so much property on both sides of the main lane that it was eventually named "Hallett Street," which it is still called today. He also owned lands and meadows in Barnstable, 1000 acres in Windham, Conn., and approximately 500 acres more just outside Yarmouth.


On 10 January or February 1661/2, Anna Bessey, Dorcas Bessey and Mary Bessey posted bond, promising "to appear at the Court to be holden at Plymouth the first Tuesday in March next, to answer for her unnatural and cruel carriages towards George Barlow, [their] father-in-law" [PCR 4:7]. On 4 March 1661/2, "Anna Bessey, for her cruel and unnatural practices towards her father-in-law, George Barlow, in chopping of him in the back, notwithstanding the odiousness of her fact, the Court, considering of some circumstances, viz:, her ingenious confession, together with her present condition, being with child, and some other particulars, have sentenced her to pay a fine of ten pounds, or to be publicly whipped at some other convenient time when her condition will admit thereof"; "Dorcas Bessey and Mary Bessey, for carriages of like nature towards their father-in-law, though not in so high a degreee, were both sentenced to sit in the stocks during the pleasure of the Court, which accordingly was performed"; the younger, viz:, Mary Bessey, was sharply reproved by the Court, as being by her disobedience the occasioner of the evil above mentioned; G[e]org[e] Barlow and his wife were both severly reproved for their most ungodly living in contention with the other, and admonished to live otherwise [PCR 4:10].


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Anne Hallett's Timeline

Yarmouth, Barnstable , Massachusetts
Age 25
Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA
April 6, 1694
Age 64
Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts